Upstairs at Amuse Bouche (CLOSED)
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Small plates brasserie above a champagne bar in Parsons Green.
The direct translation of the French term ‘amuse bouche’ is ‘mouth amuser’. Quite fitting, then, as this dining room above a pub is indeed a pleaser of the palate. Follow the racy blue lighting from the street level bar to a neighbourhood fine-dining bistro that boasts inventive tasting menus at very reasonable prices.
The interior is fairly generic, with pop-art posters that line the dark walls and marble tables scattered around. It’s a strange mix of white-cloth-napkins-fancy meets chill. The lone waitress was ever so attentive and keen to talk us through the menu – very helpful, as every dish had a lovely twist in the tale. We loved the home-baked sourdough bread, complete with a creamy strawberry houmous (that didn’t taste of strawberry but was delicious nonetheless), a roasted head of garlic that you could scoop out by the spoonful and a scrappy confit duck rillette.
As it was a Sunday, we could choose between crab, octopus, guinea fowl or pork for the mains (or indeed, a bit of everything), complete with sides of wonderfully crisp tenderstem broccoli, glazed artichokes and new potatoes doused in a hazelnut confit. The flavours were rich, the textures on point and the ingredients fresh. It was dessert where our by-now high expectations were not quite met. Although inventive – think a dense fig and pistachio cake with Marmite snap and an apricot choux pastry – the flavours were bland and didn’t quite come together.
Still, for fine-dining foodies on a budget, AB is a strong choice. A word on Sunday lunch: only go if you want the place to yourself (this is when SW6 locals are packing out their gastropubs). For more buzz, go for dinner.
Upstairs, Amuse Bouche
51 Parsons Green Lane
|Transport:||Tube: Parsons Green|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £65.|
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